View Full Version : The Overlord: A PrC for villains.

Angry Bob
2010-05-13, 12:53 PM
"Any punk can kill. It takes real panache to be evil." - Nycalous Memnoch, Overlord of Skulldeathevil Mountain

Overlords hail from a golden age, as it were, of villainy. They take great pride in their evil without apology or regret. Many of them see the new generation of villains as shortsighted upstarts who know nothing of real power and serious evil. That doesn't stop them from exploiting them when they can, though.

"I've been doing this for years. I've killed great heroes, usurped supposedly eternal kingdoms, and defied the gods themselves. What have you done? From the looks of it, terrorized a few city blocks and spent a few years in a dungeon. Pathetic. - Nycalous Memnoch

Entry Requirements:
Alignment: Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil
Skills: Intimidate 12, Knowledge(History) 6, Knowledge(Arcana) 6
Feats: Leadership, any item creation feat
Other: Ability to cast 3rd-level spells, or sneak attack(3d6) or Base Attack Bonus +6, or Smite Good 2/Day

HD: d10
EDIT: Skill points per level: 4 + Int mod

{table]Level | BaB | Fort | Ref | Will | Special | Spellcasting
1st | +1 | +2 | +0 | +2 | Tin Tyrant, Foible | -
2nd | +2 | +3 | +0 | +3 | Frightful Presence, Sneak Attack +1d6 | +1 to Existing Spellcasting Class
3rd | +3 | +3 | +1 | +3 | Evil Overlord, Motivate | +1 to Existing Spellcasting Class
4th | +4 | +4 | +1 | +4 | Improved Frightful Presence, Sneak Attack +2d6 | +1 to Existing Spellcasting Class
5th | +5 | +4 | +1 | +4 | Never Found the Body | +1 to Existing Spellcasting Class[/table]

Class Skills: Bluff, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Disguise, Intimidate, Knowledge(Arcana), Knowledge(History), Knowledge(Religion), Move Silently, Ride, Spellcraft, Use Rope

Class Features

Tin Tyrant: At first level, the overlord becomes proficient with all non-exotic armor. In addition, he may cast spells in up to medium armor with no arcane spell failure chance.

Foible: An Overlord must have a foible, selected from the list below. Failure to adhere to a foible strips you of your Overlord class features for 24 hours. A few of these require worthy opponents. These are recurring enemies and are determined as such by the DM for each Overlord. An Overlord an automatically sense that a person is a worthy opponent the first time he encounters one.

No, I Expect You to Dine: You cannot kill a worthy opponent the first time you meet them.

Before I Kill You: When you are given a chance to kill a worthy opponent, you give an expository speech outlining any or all of the following: Why you do what you do, how much you hate them, and what you plan to do after they're dead. This speech must take a minimum of 10 rounds in-game, and the worthy opponent must be able to hear or at least understand it. After that, you're free to kill them whenever you feel like it.

Leave him to Me: If you are present, your followers can't attack a worthy opponent unless you are already attacking one, and they can't attack one you are attacking.

Orcus on his Throne: When you take this foible, you choose a base of operations. You must return to this base of operations after a week outside, and must remain in the base for one week after that.

Left for dead: If the overlord brings a worthy opponent to negative hitpoints, he may not coup-de grace him or otherwise kill him in this state. He may not allow his underlings to do so either.

I'll presumably add more foibles later and fix these ones.

Spellcasting: At all levels except 1st, the Overlord gains spellcasting ability as though he had gained a level of a spellcasting class he had before yada yada yada.

Frightful Presence: At 2nd level, the Overlord gains the Frightful Presence special ability.

Sneak Attack: At 2nd and 4th levels, the Overlord gains Sneak Attack as a rogue.

Evil Overlord: At 3rd level, the Overlord may use his intimidate ranks in the place of his character level to determine his followers from leadership.

Motivate: Beginning at 3rd level, the Overlord suffers no leadership penalties for causing the death of followers, causing the death of a cohort, or being cruel.

Improved Frightful Presence: At level 4, the Overlord's Frightful presence improves. Opponents that fail their saves instead cower for 1d6 rounds + your charisma modifier and opponents that make their save are shaken for 1 turn.

Never Found the Body: If the Overlord is brought below -9 hit points, but his body is not observed by his enemies for at least one week, he is brought back to life as though through resurrection if his body was not completely obliterated.

Now, obviously some of the abilities may be strangely worded, but at this point, just either point out to me horrifically broken things or tell me how cool it is.

Sneak Attack Progression
Left for Dead Foible
Full BaB

Frog Dragon
2010-05-13, 01:20 PM
This is pretty cool and not all that overpowered either. You are missing skill points per level.
I got a foible idea
Left for dead: If the overlord brings a worthy opponent to negative hitpoints, he may not coup-de grace him or otherwise kill him in this state. He may not allow his underlings to do so either.

2010-05-13, 05:56 PM
Kind of like the Dungeon Lord PrC, nice :smallsmile:

2010-05-13, 06:12 PM

2010-05-13, 09:01 PM
I like 'Left for Dead'.

The character should be able to collect XP from some actions and give it to underlings etc.... Working for the bad guy is not always terrible and sometimes you have to learn fast.


Consider it yoinked!

2010-05-13, 09:03 PM
This is pretty cool and not all that overpowered either. You are missing skill points per level.
I got a foible idea
Left for dead: If the overlord brings a worthy opponent to negative hitpoints, he may not coup-de grace him or otherwise kill him in this state. He may not allow his underlings to do so either.

This is cool and flavorful... but how often do people actually fall to the range between 0 and -10, especially at mid to high levels?

2010-05-13, 09:07 PM
Why, oh why, do spellcasters get the most from this class? Why not, say, sneak attack progression if you have it already?

Angry Bob
2010-05-14, 12:23 AM
A few things about the class: It was built in about half an hour as an idea to get out there. I'll probably repost at some point along with more specialized versions - one for sneak attack users, one for melee types, one for spellcasters.

I'm adding Left for Dead to the original post, and giving him a Sneak attack and Full BaB.

He's proficient with all non-exotic armor just because.

2010-05-14, 01:27 AM
This is a fantastic and hilarious class. Reminds me of the mastermind class from City of Heroes. The Leadership bonuses are key to the class, and use of intimidate over level is great (I assume the cohort level restriction applies).

For some reason, I picture a small and slightly weak overlord. Assuming 6th level entry, and 18 intimidate, 18 charisma by level 3 in the class (for an effective 22 Leadership), you get:

Level 9 Overlord (say 6 sorc/3 overlord)
Level 7 Cohort
Followers: 1 6th, 2 5th, 2 4th, 4 3rd, 7 2nd, 75 1st

It's powerful, but I have a feeling it really starts to cap off around level 10, since the followers stop getting better and the PCs will start just rolling over them. I would allow the cohort to be of equal level to the overlord, maybe as a capstone ability at least?

Actually, thinking about it, one of the drawbacks is that usually your BBEG gets all of these followers without it being a class feature, doesn't he? So shouldn't he be able to do something more, like buff his minions maybe?

Lix Lorn
2010-05-14, 04:46 AM
Is fun. I like it. XD
There should be a Spell Like Ability for Hideous Laughter . :smallamused:

2010-05-14, 06:00 AM
how about you can only have goblin followers when using Evil Overlord?

2010-05-14, 06:41 AM
Maybe there should be some sort of foible where he makes any underlings attack from weakest to strongest one by one?

2010-05-14, 06:55 AM
I think this would be better if it were more like this:

A basic 3/4 BAB, no sneak attack

Then replace "+1 Spellcasting Level" with "+1 level of previous class" so that you can use your fighter BAB and Bonus feats, your Barbarous rage, your Sneak attack progression etc, without losing anything more than 1 BAB if you're a warrior or 1 spellcasting level etc...

As it is, it's gone from the spellcasters getting more from the class to the spellcasters getting an unfunny amount from the class [seriously, Sneak Attack works really well with spells...]

Obviously, you may be inclined to limit only fighters claiming their bonus feats...

Lix Lorn
2010-05-14, 07:07 AM
Make it '+1 level of one spellcasting class'. A character who doesn't have sneak attack gets it, so a character with no spellcasting should get it. Like the Dragon Devotee. (RotD)

Or what Mulletmanalive said.

Also, if the BaB entry is meant to allow supermartial people, it should be BAB +9, as that's the earliest level you can get in.

Angry Bob
2010-05-14, 09:33 AM
What the entry requirements are supposed to allow is this: the intimidate requirement puts the lowest level you can take it at 9 without extreme cheese, while the casting/sneak attack/BaB requirements make it so you can enter the class with a multiclass character if you're so inclined. Also, you'll notice he loses 1 caster level.

I want to make this a ten-level class at some point. Any more ideas for abilities?

What I've got:

Advance Sneak Attack more slowly, or turn it into sudden strike.
Maybe lose one more caster level.
Abilities that use fear - treat shaken/cowering enemies as flat-footed
Minion Buffing? Maybe not exactly buffing that makes them live longer, but something that makes them more effective. Like exploding on command.
Probably take more than one foible over 10 levels.
Give him flavor special abilities like foibles. I couldn't say off the top of my head what they'd be.

2010-05-14, 09:41 AM
I agree with the idea of turning this into 3.

An Overlord an automatically sense that a person is a worthy opponent the first time he encounters one.
This will need rewording to allow disguises.

No, I Expect You to Dine should disallow capture, and maybe a few other things?

2010-05-14, 11:33 AM
I think you're minunderstanding my question; What do you mean "exotic armor?" That really isn't an official term.

Yeah, it is. Races of Stone has a few of them towards the back, and I think that there are a few more floating around somewhere...

Angry Bob
2010-05-14, 01:56 PM
All right. I'm splitting the class into three different evil classes. They'll all still have foibles, worthy opponents, and a leadership focus, but their other special abilities will change. What I'm thinking is these three:

The Mad Wizard: Spellcaster advancement, "frightful presence" that triggers on him casting a spell.

The Warlord: A melee evil character - Keeps conventional frightful presence, gains 'evil' melee abilities.

???: I can't think of an "overlord" archetype that focuses on sneak attack. Maybe one that makes use of it, but not one that focuses on it.

In any case, I'm brainstorming here, I'll put the completed classes in a new thread at some point.

2010-05-14, 03:22 PM
???: I can't think of an "overlord" archetype that focuses on sneak attack. Maybe one that makes use of it, but not one that focuses on it.

Bandit King?

2010-05-14, 03:25 PM
???: I can't think of an "overlord" archetype that focuses on sneak attack. Maybe one that makes use of it, but not one that focuses on it.

Grand Vizer?

2010-05-14, 06:40 PM
Grand Vizer?

He only uses it once in his entire carrier... giving it as a flavor ability (maybe requires an Action Point or even 2 each round you use it?), but you are correct that sneak attack is not very Overlord-ish.

Bluff/Diplomacy/Gather Information/Knowledge(Local) OTOH can make for a slippery operator, the type of guy who can walk the streets of a Lawful Good town with impunity from the law because nobody can ever PROVE anything. Might want to replace the Sneak Attack option with those (4 ranks each??? 6 ranks in any 3??? Something along those lines).

Angry Bob
2010-05-15, 11:37 AM
Both the bandit king and the guy that no one can prove is evil appeal to me as overlord types. They're both proud of being evil and flaunt it, both of them because no one can catch them, but they both rely on a very different skill set. Maybe the not the bandit king guy can have a bardic music requirement in addition to the skill prerequisites.

2010-05-15, 07:17 PM
???: I can't think of an "overlord" archetype that focuses on sneak attack. Maybe one that makes use of it, but not one that focuses on it..

Maybe Shadow Lord? The word bandit simply lacks that cunning edge that this class seems to be going for. Other names could be: Thief Lord, Shade, Crime Lord, and one from tvtropes, Magnificent Bastard.

EDIT: Also, as it is, Left for Dead is the least limiting foible by far. It should be that he can never coup de grace a worthy foe or something a little more debilitating. Even that's not super limiting, since at higher levels, characters usually never get anywhere in between positives and -10.

2010-05-15, 07:35 PM
I like how a wizard can enter this, losing one caster level, to get heavy armor proficiency (while casting in medium armor). Then they can take that feat that allows you to cast in one armor category heavier without penalties for full plate without needing a combination of random materials from everywhere (twilight, fey-touched, blah, blah, blah).

Lix Lorn
2010-05-15, 07:38 PM
Yes, I thought that.
Maybe make 1st level light armour, 3rd level medium, 5th level heavy, and they EACH lose a level of spells?

Angry Bob
2010-05-16, 01:17 PM
At this point, I've decided to split the class into three or four separate 5-level classes.

The Warlord: Would look similar to what we have now. Think Darth Vader, minus the force. Though he may have a short list of spells or spell-likes. Of course, he'd keep the leadership abilities and the frightful presence, and have intimidate ranks and power attack among his prerequisites.

The Evil Genius: The evil casters and artificers. They should get caster levels out of it, and maybe armor proficiency. They'd get a modified version of frightful presence that triggers off casting a spell or using an infusion. Their prerequisites would include intimidate ranks as well, no spellcraft or know(arcana) just because most casters have them anyway, but it will have a feat requirement in addition to leadership, and a casting requirement.

The Mastermind: A mundane dude-behind-the-scenes type. He'd have abilities to hide his alignment even in extreme circumstances, maybe a short list of spells including enchantments, divinations, and illusions. Skill prereqs: Intimidate, Bluff, Diplomacy, basically every social skill. Feats: leadership, one other undetermined social feat.

The Bandit Lord: A martial rogue. Sort of like the assassin, but in five levels, and has no spellcasting. Again, he'll have a leadership focus, more so than the Mastermind or Megalomaniac. Requirements are probably intimidate again, having leadership again, and a sneak attack requirement, as well as some other skills and feats.

They'd all use foibles in pretty much the same way.

2010-05-17, 01:28 AM
wow i love this PrC class. especially the foible ability it finally makes since why the villains always make incredibly long distracting speeches now.